Dr. Sharon Malone: Estradiol Vaginal Cream
3 minute read
Do I need estrogen cream? Good question. Even if you do not you have hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, or any of the other vaginal symptoms of menopause, you might still benefit from topical estrogen. Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, itchy and burning vulvas, urinary frequency, urgency, and frequent UTIs are common symptoms of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). But did you know that you don’t actually have to be in menopause to experience these symptoms? Any low-estrogen state such as breastfeeding, chemotherapy, and some hormonal birth control options can produce the same symptoms.
The lack of estrogen not only causes thinning of the vaginal, vulvar and urethral tissues, it also changes the pH of the vagina, making it more susceptible to vaginal and urinary tract infections. Fortunately, the solution is simple.
A small amount of estradiol cream, used consistently, can reverse tissue changes such as thinning and altered pH of GSM. Estrogen cream addresses the root cause of the symptoms, whereas topical lubricants and moisturizers only minimize them. Because you are actually restoring the vaginal, vulvar and urethral tissues to their premenopausal glory, the improvement will start gradually. You should see maximum improvement by 4-12 weeks.
More good news about estradiol cream: it’s bioidentical, and it’s an extremely low-dose. And, unlike systemic estrogen, the contraindications to topical estrogen are almost nonexistent. The dosing of the cream is also very flexible and can be tailored to your particular needs. It can be used inside the vagina or directly on the vulva or urethra to treat symptoms where they are most bothersome. 80% of women will experience symptoms of GSM during and after menopause. 100% of women don’t have to suffer from it.
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